by Keith Hamilton
Today, at the City Chambers licensing meeting, a Houses in Multiple Occupation licence was granted to a property in the New Town which had previously put the occupant of the flat below, Lady Clyde, the 77 year old widow of the late law lord Lord Clyde, ‘through hell’. This was the admission of Mr Sulley, the co-owner of the letting agency, namely Splendid, which has transformed the building for the better and been responsible for letting the property since the 15th of August, 2010. The property has undergone massive rennovation to plumbing, flooring and furnishing, putting an end to flood damage and noise disturbance. But it was the change of tennants which made the largest improvement to Lady Clyde’s life. Evicted were the group of eight who had parties which amounted to 250 people by police estimates, made constant noise at all hours of the day, drank alcohol on scaffolding outside the building and dropped cigarettes and food out the window onto common ground shared by residents of the building. In came two groups of four students, seven of who were postgraduates and all were from abroad. Mr Sulley commented that in his experience neighbours are far less likely to complain of the behaviour of foriegn students.
There was opposition to the granting of the HMO licence from a solicitor representing Lady Clyde, who clearly feared a possible return of the distress experienced in the future but evidence from Mr Sulley and his colleague Ms Hart stated that they had appeased Lady Clyde. Her representative raised the amount spent by Lady Clyde in repairs to flood damage from water from the flat above, a figure in excess of £35,000. A letter written by Lady Clyde was read which stated the previous tennants were ‘incapable of behaving responsibly’.
The application for an HMO licence was granted due to improved management of the property, by Splendid, and on the condition that carpets are fitted on the lower floor of the two floor property which will provide respite from noise currently transmitted to Lady Clyde’s flat, even that of just walking across a room.